The Circuit of Spa Francorchamps is often referred to as a 'drivers' circuit', but there wasn't much driving going on there today. As overcast and dull skies turned to heavy rain during the second practice session, almost all the F1 drivers opted...
The Circuit of Spa Francorchamps is often referred to as a 'drivers' circuit', but there wasn't much driving going on there today. As overcast and dull skies turned to heavy rain during the second practice session, almost all the F1 drivers opted to remain in their garages, and only a handful had ventured out in the morning session.
Four minutes into the second practice, Tonio Liuzzi hit standing water on the straight before Turn five, he then aquaplaned off the track, before slamming into the guardrail. The session was red flagged as his car was removed from the track.
"Wet conditions are always difficult, but are especially so in Spa due to the length of the track. There tends to be a lot of aquaplaning here as there's a lot of standing water and that's obviously what Tonio suffered with today. It's even more difficult here when you're running in traffic. There are so many trees, the spray doesn't dissipate and you have difficultly seeing the circuit, which can be pretty horrible."
"We just did an installation lap this morning. This is the second race with this engine and we're restricted on mileage. We thought it might be drier this afternoon and wanted to save our laps, obviously now we would have preferred to have done more this morning - but hindsight is a wonderful thing."
"Unfortunately we couldn't drive much today, we just did an installation lap this morning to check the car. There was so much rain in the second session; it didn't make any sense to go out. Tonio aquaplaned on the water and when that happens you're just a passenger. We haven't been able to work on the set up of the car much today, so have a lot of work to do tomorrow."
"Everything was pretty good this morning and we were able to test different tyres as the track got drier and drier. We started on full wets, then went to intermediates and then to slicks. The track was in good condition so we could test the tyres and give feedback to the other cars. I had a good first run on the slick tyres, the car felt very balanced and I had good pace."
"I hit a small puddle on one of the later laps, locked the front brakes and got out of shape a little. That was a shame as we'd been strong and had set some quick lap times. In the second session, the weather seemed good enough to go back out. Things were okay through Eau Rouge, but then there was this huge pool of water. The car lost contact with the ground and, as I had a lot of speed, I went off into the guardrail."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director:
"It wasn't raining too hard in the pits at the start of the second practice session, and two or three other cars went out before Tonio. Everything seemed fine when he went through Eau Rouge and then, literally by the time he'd got to the top of the hill, the rain was pouring down and there was a big puddle of water on the circuit's new surface."
"Tonio aquaplaned and was just a passenger. The accident was not his fault; he was just very unlucky and a victim of the unpredictable Spa weather. Fortunately Tonio completed a lot of laps for us this morning in both wet and dry conditions in order to evaluate our tyre choice."